Local/State

Local man who cleaned oil spill says he's sick

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Spring Lake man who went to the Gulf of Mexico to help fight the oil spill is now fighting for some medical attention.

Jackie Roach says a Fayetteville based environmental company, Contaminated Control Incorporated, sent him to Venice, Louisiana untrained and without protective gear.

Roach says while he was there, he was accidentally sprayed with clean-up chemicals that made his leg swell like a balloon.

"The next morning, I couldn't even put my boots on because my legs were swollen overnight. I mean puffed up. And they were burning, and it was real sore and itching," Roach said. "Personally, it's affecting me a whole lot and it hurts, the fact that they turned their backs on me, and they know what happened down there."

The management at CCI tells ABC11 Eyewitness News that Roach was fired, because of poor performance and they're not sure how he was injured.

They say he was never exposed to any chemicals and received 40 hours of hazmat training before leaving for the Gulf. However, Roach says that's not true.

"But it ended up not a training session," Roach said. "It was more or less people coming in when they want to. People leave out when they want to. But they always kept telling us, remember one thing. If anybody asks you, you did 40 hours (and) we did not."

Before Roach went to the Gulf, he had to take a physical and got a clean bill of health. Now, he says he's got to take almost a dozen pills to combat swelling.

"I take fluid pills," Roach said. "I take antibiotics. I take pain killers. There's another pill, it's for this itching all the time."

He also says he now has thousands of dollars in medical bills and says a claim for assistance with CCI has been rejected.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission and the VA Hospitals are now investigating the allegations.

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